Sunday, July 3, 2011

Barren Ridge Winery

Situated in the scenic scape of Fishersville, Barren Ridge is a converted apple orchard barn turned vineyard, combining updated wine-making practices with classic farm architecture.  The tasting room, outdoor seating area, and surrounding fields of vines are quite a sight to see.  But, if shear picturesque atmosphere isn’t enough for you, there are also wines to taste. 

Barren Ridge provides two tasting options.  There is the complimentary tasting which features four reds and four whites, or a $5 tasting of all fourteen wines.  Since we had two other wineries and a brewery to explore, we opted for the complimentary. 

I was really excited to go to Barren Ridge.  Both Zynodoa and Staunton Grocery have featured Barren Ridge’s wines during their Virginia wine pairings.  Having respect for their preferences, I was intrigued by the tasting ahead. 

The whites are a good range of sweet, tart, and fruity.  We tried the ’08 Chardonnay, ’10 Vidal Blanc, ’09 Traminette, and ’09 Harmony.  Of the four, the majority car favorite was the Harmony, which has a honey nose and is a blend of Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, and Viognier.  I was odd man out because my favorite was the Vidal Blanc, which had an amazing nose and then had notes of apricot and lemon, which gave it warmth and brightness.   The last one that intrigue me and left me undecided was the Traminette that has a nose that is almost too sweet and a first sip that was almost too sweet, but eventually mellows and balances, allowing lychee and a slight tartness to come through.  The lychee was what I probably responded to most since it is something I don’t readily find in wines (and is one of my favorite fruit flavors). 

For the reds, we tried the ’09 Rose, ’09 Cabernet Franc, ’08 Merlot, and the ’09 Red Barren.  The Red Barren got the favorite pic for taste and best name given to a wine.  It is good in summer or by the fire.  It has sassy fruits like raspberries as well as warmth from caramel and vanilla, then nice little undertones of pepper.  The second favorite was the Cab Franc that had a nice brown sugar nose with little bits of jaminess and then a taste that is completely different from the nose.  The contrast of nose and taste made it slightly more exciting.  I also was a fan of the Merlot, which normally I don’t really care for.  But, this one had a full nose and was good with the chocolate that they provided with the tasting.  It is has plum and violets and just a little chewiness.  

Finishing a great tasting with a nice Ellie made picnic of couscous with pecans, raisins, and spices and a dish of rice with yogurt, mango, and mint, and you have a good start to a wine tasting adventure. 

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